In Georgia, if you sustain a traumatic brain injury in any accident caused by someone else’s negligence, can you be compensated? What will it take to obtain compensation?
The law in Georgia entitles victims of negligence to compensation for their accident-related medical treatment as well as compensation for lost income and all injury-related damages.
But it’s not always easy to win compensation for a traumatic brain injury. In Georgia, you’ll need the help of an experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney.
INSURANCE COVERAGE IS NOT CERTAIN FOR LONG-TERM TREATMENT
Health insurance – for those who have it – usually will cover a brain injury victim’s care in the “acute” stage of recovery, but paying for long-term treatment gets much more complicated.
Health insurance companies limit what they will pay for rehabilitation.
In most cases, they will pay for only two to six weeks of inpatient rehabilitation. If you’ve sustained a severe brain injury, that simply will not be sufficient.
WHAT TREATMENT IS NEEDED FOR TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY VICTIMS?
Survivors of severe traumatic brain injuries must undergo extensive and long-term physical, speech, occupational, and neuropsychological therapy and cognitive rehabilitation.
Some health insurance policies have limits that are quickly surpassed by brain injury patients. Just as a patient is benefiting the most from rehabilitation, an insurer can say, “That’s all.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over a million people sustain a traumatic brain injury each year in the U.S. A mild head injury, on average, costs about $85,000.
However, a moderate brain injury, on average, costs about $940,000, and the estimated average cost of a severe, traumatic brain injury is about $3 million.
HOW CAN BRAIN INJURY VICTIMS AVOID SERIOUS FINANCIAL HARDSHIP?
The costs of recovery and rehabilitation after a traumatic brain injury can be astronomical, but taking the right action as early as possible can help you and your family avoid financial hardship.
An injury lawyer can help traumatic brain injury victims and their families work through the complicated financial and legal challenges they will be dealing with after a brain injury.
If you’ve sustained a brain injury in Georgia because another person was negligent, you must be represented by an experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney. Having an attorney is imperative.
HOW CAN AN INJURY ATTORNEY HELP?
You may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit and receive the complete compensation you will require. Your lawyer will review the details of the case and explain your rights and options.
If you take legal action, your lawyer will then gather evidence about the events that caused your brain injury, including any police reports, photos, eyewitness testimony, and medical evidence.
The “value” of a brain injury lawsuit will depend on a number of factors.
Preparing a brain injury case is costly, difficult, and time-consuming, so lawyers who work on a contingent fee basis usually handle only the brain injury cases that they believe they can win.
WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR WHEN YOU SELECT AN ATTORNEY?
Most brain injury claims exceed $1 million, so you must choose only an attorney who has considerable experience successfully representing brain injury victims.
A lawyer without brain injury case experience may recommend settling for less than you need, but an experienced, knowledgeable advocate for brain injury victims will fight aggressively for the maximum possible compensation.
SHOULD YOU SEEK ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INCOME AND COMPENSATION?
While an attorney prepares your case, a brain injury victim should also contact the Social Security Administration to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
Until a brain injury victim receives compensation, finances may be difficult. You should see if your employer offers any benefits, and you should also look into local and state assistance programs.
In a brain injury case, the loss of the victim’s earning capacity must be a leading consideration.
If you make $40,000 a year, but because of a traumatic brain injury, you are forced to retire ten years early, your loss of earning capacity will amount to at least $400,000.
DO BRAIN INJURY VICTIMS EXPERIENCE PSYCHOLOGICAL DIFFICULTIES?
Even the victims of mild brain injuries may have genuine trouble with memory, concentration, and fatigue – and thus may lose their ability to work full-time or even part-time.
Depression and anxiety can also be considered injuries, and brain injury victims will often receive compensation for emotional and psychological damage as well as physical injuries.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR CASE ISN’T SETTLED OUT-OF-COURT?
If your brain injury case can’t be settled out-of-court and instead goes to trial, your attorney will probably seek a statement or testimony from one or more brain injury authorities.
A life care planning expert can assess a patient’s needs and testify regarding those needs. Injury victims who suffer serious or permanent brain injuries may receive considerable damages.
Obviously, an insurance company or a corporation can pay those kinds of damages, while an individual person or a small company may not have those resources.
An injury lawyer will explain – and ask you to consider all of these factors – when discussing your rights and options after a traumatic brain injury.
WHAT IF A BRAIN INJURY VICTIM IS COMATOSE OR INCAPACITATED?
When a traumatic brain injury victim is eighteen years of age or older and is not able to make his or her own medical, financial, and legal decisions, a loved one must get permission from the courts to make those decisions.
The right to make decisions for an incapacitated brain injury victim who is not a minor does not automatically fall to a spouse, parent, guardian, or adult child, but a good injury lawyer can help.
Don’t risk your future. Seek medical attention right away after you suffer any blow to the head – or if you believe that you or someone you love has experienced a traumatic brain injury.
IS THERE A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR BRAIN INJURY LAWSUITS?
After you’ve been seen by a doctor, if you have sustained a brain injury, arrange to meet with a personal injury attorney who can assess your claim and then explain your rights and options.
The period of time when you may file a personal injury lawsuit is limited. Under Georgia’s statute of limitations, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the date you were injured.
Clearly, however, brain injury victims should obtain sound legal advice without delay. Don’t wait two years and then try to find a lawyer and file a lawsuit frantically at the last minute.
Nothing is more important than your health and your future. If you’ve sustained a traumatic brain injury in Georgia because another person was negligent, taking legal action is your right.
If you sustain a brain injury, do not hesitate to get the medical and legal help you need.